Red-hot Brady, Bucs look to end on winning note vs. Falcons

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ATLANTA (4-11) at TAMPA BAY (10-5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE - Buccaneers by 7 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Falcons 7-8; Buccaneers 8-7

SERIES RECORD - Falcons lead 28-26

LAST MEETING - Buccaneers beat Falcons 31-27 on Dec. 20 in Atlanta

LAST WEEK - Falcons lost to Chiefs 17-14; Buccaneers beat Lions 47-7

AP PRO32 RANKING - Falcons No. 27, Buccaneers No. 7


FALCONS Defence - OVERALL (28), RUSH (7), PASS (31).


BUCCANEERS Defence - OVERALL (6), RUSH (1), PASS (22).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES —A second meeting in three weeks between the NFC South rivals. The Falcons limited the Buccaneers to 60 yards total offence in building a 17-0 halftime lead two weeks ago. However, they had no answers defensively for Tom Brady while allowing the six-time Super Bowl champion to lead scoring drives on five straight possessions for a 31-27 victory. ... Falcons WR Calvin Ridley had 10 catches for 163 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting. He has eight 100-yard games this season, the most in the NFL. ... Atlanta has played the past three games without WR Julio Jones (hamstring), who had 114 receptions for 1,841 yards and 11 TDs in 16 career games against the Bucs. ... The Bucs clinched their first playoff berth since 2007 with last week’s win at Detroit. Brady sat out the second half after his four first-half TD passes helped them build a 34-0 halftime lead and gave him a franchise record 36 scoring passes this season. He needs four more to join Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Dan Marino as the only players in NFL history to throw at least 40 TD passes in multiple seasons. Rodgers has done it three times, the others twice. Fantasy tip: Bucs WR Mike Evans is coming off a 10-catch, 181-yard, two-TD performance. He’s 40 yards shy of becoming the first player in league history to begin a career with at least 1,000 yards receiving in seven consecutive seasons. With a playoff berth already assured, don’t expect another big day. He’ll likely play just long enough to get his 1,000 yards.


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